The Ridge Point Panthers beat Dawson 25-20, 25-21 and 25-18 to win the Region 3 6A championship last Saturday at Wheeler Fieldhouse.
The win puts the Panthers in the state finals where they will meet Plano West in the 6A semifinal on Friday in Garland. A win puts them in the state championship match on Saturday.
In the first set, the Panthers were up 19-18 when they went on a four-point run to increase their lead to 23-18. Skylar Fields had two kills and Randee Hennings served an ace during the run. Dawson could only score two more points as the Panthers closed out the first set 25-20.
In the second set, the score was 11-11 when Ridge Point went on a 9-4 run to grab a 20-15 lead. Claire Jeter led the charge with three kills during the run. Dawson made it close as they closed to within two at 23-21, but the Panthers claimed the win 25-21 with consecutive kills by Fields and Jeter.
The third set was all Ridge Point as they raced to a 15-10 lead and cruised to a 25-18 win.
Two years ago, the Panthers lost to Seven Lakes in the region semifinals, and last year they lost to George Ranch in the region semifinals. This year they exorcised a few ghosts by beating both Seven Lakes and George Ranch on their way to the championship.
“This year was just amazing. The team has so much talent and these girls are just incredible to coach. They play for each other and I think that has been the difference maker for us this year. We have had great talent in previous years, but now we have been able to channel that talent and play as one unit and that is very valuable. Our team is just not cultivated around one person. We have so many other pieces to our team and that just makes the team super awesome,” Ridge Point Coach Lori McLaughlin said.
Because of the last two years, the players knew it would take teamwork and a super effort to make it to state.
“I feel great. I feel very accomplished. We have been working towards this goal forever and I am just glad the time is finally here. This year we took a do or die attitude. This was our last year with Skylar (Fields) who is graduating so we just knew it was do or die. We were not going to accept any other way. I just love this team, they are the best players I have ever played with,” junior Kendall Sekula said.
“It’s amazing. We have wanted this for so long. I am a sophomore this year and I have always known we could do it. It’s our time. I really think we can do it (win the state championship),” Tiana Davis said.
The Panthers have a record of 46-5 with two matches to go.